Monday, November 26, 2012

Today I found out, that due to the lesson schedule changes, I will no longer be teaching my darling tenth formers :'( They were always such a super start to my Monday mornings, but I'm sure Monday mornings with my eighth formers will also be fun. When I'm back in Kharkov before the start of the second semester, I'll try to squeeze in a few lessons with them for sure! Wednesday evening I'm headed to Lvov for a few days with some of the younger students and I'm looking forward to lots of fun times with them! It will be interesting to see Lvov in a different season than the first time I was there.
Teaching has been on my mind an awful lot lately.  I don't just mean the lesson plans and sheer amount of hours I spend at the school each week.  Right now my brain is still in that stage of processing where it's mostly just pumping out the positives, so for what it's worth these are some of the things my little head has been churning up...
For me -  I obviously have a strong passion for teaching, or I wouldn't be pouring my heart into my classes here.  The relocation flexibility is fairly good.  English teaching is in demand all over the world, and I would find myself especially comfortable if this happened to be in a Russian-speaking country.  Back in the English-speaking world, I would, of course, have to hold relevant qualifications, be that general grade-specific certification or a certain subject area. With completely non-arrogant intentions, I can say that I seem to have a knack for this teaching thing.  Not everyone loves kids, and among those who do, not all can get them to sit still and learn something from you for the better part of an hour.
For my future family - again, the job location flexibility, knowing that even if we moved around, I could most likely find work.  School breaks for holidays and summer would give me more time for any future children. We all know that teachers' salaries don't tend to be very high, but while I'm still single, it would be enough, and later it would be a decent contribution to the household income.  Of course, these considerations seem relevant only to a time far faarrr from now, but as a compulsive planner, that's just how my brain works and it doesn't hurt to ponder.
It doesn't have to be forever - In fact, I hold to the school of thought that when I teacher starts to lose steam, he or she is better off to move to a second career (but yes, there are also teachers that keep up their awesomeness to the end and I hold extreme respect for them). And considering my ambitions of Foreign Service work, I have talked to several a foreign service officer who made State Department work a second career after teaching.  And I would never have changed the major I chose.  Even if I don't go straight into IR work, I also hold to the idea that some of the best teachers have first, second, even third degrees in something besides the methodological study of teaching. Any and all educational endeavors can never be regretted.
I was having a conversation with some Ukrainian friends a while back about teaching and how much I loved it, but felt that there was this attitude of "oh, you're just gonna be a teacher...?" That completely mind-boggling cultural phenomenon that says that the best and brightest should be off working in labs and offices and not shaping the minds and spirits of the next generation.  WHY IS THAT? It's actually one of the most ridiculous ridiculousnesses of our society.
"You shouldn't think that way," they reassured me.  "Consider it that you GET to teach, not that you're JUST going to teach.  Those friends we just ran, they hate kids and they hate their jobs.  Those aren't the kind of people who should be teaching."
I have no idea where this crazy, wonderful life will lead me, but sometimes I just have to clear my head with a good long rambling rant. Any and all input and advice from you, my dear blog readers, is welcome)))

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